How to Keep a Food Diary and Control Weight

Maintaining a healthy weight is an important part of managing many health conditions. It can also help prevent certain cancers, heart diseases, high blood pressure and pulmonary problems.

The main goals of controlling weight are to eat more nutritious foods and exercise regularly. However, other factors like social and environmental cues may also contribute to weight gain.

Keep a Food Diary or Tracking App

Keeping a food diary increases awareness of what’s being consumed. It also helps participants identify patterns in their eating habits, such as overeating after a stressful day or ordering take out too often for dinner.

When logging, experts recommend doing so right after consuming the meal or beverage. Waiting until the end of the day to record can leave room for error in recollection. It’s also helpful to be as specific as possible when logging foods and beverages. For example, “latte” can be used as a category, but writing down the exact type of latte is more accurate.

Many food tracking apps provide a database of foods that can be manually added by users. Some are free, while others offer a subscription-based model with more advanced features. A popular app called Cronometer provides an extensive list of foods and allows users to customize macro levels to track calories, protein, fat and carbohydrates. Its curated data includes nutrients you’d see on a Nutrition Facts label and tags like “CRDB” or “Trustwell” help filter results.

Get Enough Sleep

Research shows that when we get sufficient sleep, our hormones are balanced to help control our appetite. Specifically, sleep increases production of leptin and decreases ghrelin which are the appetite stimulants. Studies also show that when we don’t get enough sleep, it affects our decision-making and self-control by dulling activity in the frontal lobe of the brain which is responsible for these functions. This makes it harder to resist temptations and make healthy choices.

Getting adequate sleep is essential for all of us, but it’s especially important when you’re trying to control your weight. Optimizing your sleep schedule can make a big difference in how successful you are with your weight loss plan. This means going to bed and waking up at the same time each day, so your body gets used to a regular routine.

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